Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India – On receiving news that Tengboché Rinpoché, Ngawang Tenzin Zangpo, had recently passed away in Namché Bazaar at the age of 86, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to the Tengboché Monastery Sangha to express his condolences.
Addressing them as dear Sherpa Brothers and Sisters he told them he remembered Rinpoché’s coming to see him when he was visiting Sikkim. He noted that Rinpoché’s humility and genuine dedication to the service of others was an example of how to live a meaningful life.
“Although he primarily followed the Nyingma Tradition, during the years he studied in Tibet, during his youth, Tengboché Rinpoché received teachings from Lamas belonging to all traditions. After returning to Tengboché in 1957, and taking up the role of abbot, he encouraged the monks in his care not only to study and practice, but to engage with the local community.
“Similarly commendable were Rinpoché’s initiatives to plant trees in the Khumbu Valley and his consistent advice to the region’s residents to take care of the environment. I understand that more than fifteen years ago he warned that over-exploiting nature’s resources put the local water supply at risk. Over the years, several mountaineers who took part in expeditions to Mount Everest have told me how much they valued Tengboché Rinpoché’s advice when they visited him on their way to the peak. I am gratified to know that when Tengboché Monastery burned down in 1989, many of them lent their support to his efforts to reconstruct the buildings.”
His Holiness concluded his letter with the advice that although Rinpoché is no longer with us, the best tribute we can pay to him is to cultivate the quiet, steady warm heartedness he so vividly exemplified.